I tutor a native Spanish-speaker studying to become a nurse. Anna* is small, brown, impeccably courteous, and has extraordinary compassion. Last year, in addition to school-work and caring for her six children, she made time to care for a terminally-ill neighbor.
Anna has a strong personal relationship with Jesus. She says an eloquent grace before a meal, and prays fervently every day, whether in supplication or in gratitude. I am an atheist.
Yesterday Anna was at my house for tutoring. While she worked independently at the computer, I took a few minutes to give my old dog Fluffy his ivermectin (heartworm prevention). I was supposed to give him 0.15ml. I gave him 1.5ml, 10 times the correct dose.
When I told Anna about it, she didn’t miss a beat. She promptly placed her hands around Fluffy’s head and said (in Spanish): “In the name of Jesus I tell you that you will be well even if you have a poison in your stomach. You are healthy, Jesus has cured you.” I could almost see the power of God shimmering down her arms and into my little dog.
It is now 24 hours since I over-dosed Fluffy. He is just fine — no vomiting, no diarrhea, no seizures. He is bouncing around the yard with all the pep his little old bones will allow.
Do I think Anna faith-healed my dog? Probably not; ivermectin has a broad safety range. Do I now believe in God? Well, no.
But I’ll tell you one thing – Anna is going to be one hell of a nurse.
*I have changed Anna’s name to protect her privacy. I chose “Anna” because it means “gracious, merciful”).